Changes to residence permits and citizenship worry international researchers

The changes and restrictions on immigration, citizenship requirements, and residence permits proposed by the current Finnish government are of concern to members of the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers. FUURT organised a webinar on current issues related to immigration and residence permits for researchers on 6 May 2024. The webinar discussed in particular residence permits for researchers, the different situations of their families, the status of grant researchers, and the possibilities for international researchers to find employment in Finland.  

The number of international researchers in FUURT membership has been steadily increasing, and currently around 20% of the Union’s members have an international background According to the membership survey (2022), the most common types of residence permits among international researchers are researcher residence permits (35%) and permanent residence permits (35%). One in three doctoral researchers had encountered problems with the permits.  

The changes and restrictions on immigration, residence permits, and citizenship requirements prepared by the government raised concerns among the webinar participants. The planned changes to the residence requirements for citizenship and permanent residence permits will also affect researchers, but for example, the so-called three-month rule to find new employment will only apply to those in the country with a work-related residence permit. With a researcher’s residence permit, it will still be possible for a researcher to apply for an extension of the residence permit to seek work.  

FUURT will continue to lobby actively for the extension of the residence permit for researchers, especially as the doctoral pilot programme is sure to bring many new doctoral researchers from abroad to Finland. We consider it important that Finland is an attractive country for international researchers, offering not only interesting research opportunities but also the ingredients for a good life. 

See the webinar materials: 

The current status of researcher’s residence permit and the government programme initiatives related to migration, Miia Ijäs-Idrobo

Webinar on migration issues based on FUURT’s Membership survey 2022, Antero Puhakka


More information:  

Senior Adviser Miia Ijäs-Idrobo